Here in New York City, the difficulties of shut downs and isolation have been especially acute. You can’t live in a place like this without feeding off the energy of the millions of people around you. But as vaccines get distributed, and we get closer to a new normal, we can think on how we will be after.

Unlearning the Lessons We’ve Learned

When the masks come off, stretch your lips up and out
remember that the seats on the R and the F are not sofa-soft and not for           spreading or lounging

at your first happy hour, lock eyes at the clink of glasses, hoist your arm high
 your HUZZAH must be higher
hugs, handshakes should be firm and warm
 allow them to linger as long as needed

buy a normal amount of toilet paper

take a slice to go
 take two, take a whole pie

browse for books--the TBR most certainly needs reinforcements after such an assault
buy tickets to the show your friend adored, see the midnight screening of the premier
 long delayed

race the Grand Staircase, pant and wheeze as if you’re as out of shape as the   peasants in the pastoral you passed, as you linger to catch your breath before the first canvas that
caught your eye, speaking to you in an ancient tongue

and, if, hope beyond hope, you have match-made, or swiped correctly,
 when your hands meet halfway across the table, avoiding wine glasses & tapas plates,
 make the first fingertip-to-fingertip freeze
 in your new moment

©David Siller – 2021

*****

For the first 100 days of the Biden administration, this website will feature a new poem of What’s Next!? These pieces can be calls to action, calls to attention, or calls to anger. They will light the way and guide the fight. They will get us moving and keep our momentum. They will be filled with hope, with anger, with sorrow. They will get us into good trouble and point out the trouble we need to stop. They will be polished gems, or rough-cut drafts of rage, or in-process pieces searching for peace. They may be haiku or tanka, limericks or lyrics, verses free or fettered.

#100Days100Poems of What’s Next!? wants your poems, your prose, your visual art (photos, drawings, sculptures), your music, your short films and animations. Interpret the theme as broadly as you’d like.

If you would like to submit to this endeavor, please send an email, with your visual art (as .jpg or .pdf) or your poem saved as a word document (.docx) to waxyandpoetic AT gmail DOT com. Include a short bio (2-3 sentences) and social media/website information. All rights remain with the author. Please address any formatting preferences in your email. Waxyandpoetic.com will post submissions time permitting, with at least one per day beginning 20 January 2021.

Read, follow, share, submit, live, love, spread light! Don’t forget to use #100Days100Poems !

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